E. That’s what I will call the man who I met today (for anonymity purposes). We spent two hours talking about anything and everything: life as a cancer patient, family, society, politics, religion, you name it.
Despite my social anxiety, I really enjoy meeting new people because I believe that we each have valuable insight to offer one another. In today’s society, we often spend the majority of our time hidden behind screens, avoiding organic face-to-face interaction with others. But who are we going to become as the human race if we let technology dictate our interactions?
E is a fascinating individual, as many people are deep down–though many of us are too guarded to let just anyone have a peek into our true selves. He is candid, speaks with passion and doesn’t hide from his convictions. We exchanged stories about our upbringings and how they’ve shaped us into who we are today, each of us agreeing that we are not the norm as we both question authority and societal norms. We don’t do this merely to be defiant but because we have learned that knowledge truly is power and not everything is at is seems. There are many points on which we both agreed:
- The criminal justice system is broken.
- Hope is vital.
- Humans need to spread more love to combat the few that spread hate.
- Jesus is not who a lot of people make him out to be. Too many people use Jesus/Christianity to justify actions and beliefs that Scriptures don’t support.
- People are flawed and different, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t respect one another.
- Chemo sucks, and all the side effects and symptoms that go along with it suck, too.
There were a lot of other things we agreed on, but these were some of the highlights.
While being diagnosed with cancer is scary and unexpected, there are upsides to it, such as realizing who is truly there for you in your time of need and who chooses to walk out of your life–something that both E and I experienced. There are also moments like this, when you are able to set aside any preconceived notions of strangers and rally together in the camaraderie of the cancer fighter community. Together we can lock arms, build each other up and push each other forward until we are beyond this trial known as cancer so that we may encourage and uplift others with our journey.
Fight on, E.